Increased I-70 winter-driving enforcement could mean big fines |

Increased I-70 winter-driving enforcement could mean big fines

The Colorado Department of Transportation is launching a winter driving campaign that includes stricter enforcement of the traction and passenger vehicle chain law, focusing on Interstate 70.

CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said the Colorado State Patrol will not be actively checking for proper equipment, but instead will have the option of issuing an expensive ticket when troopers respond to an incident, The Denver Post reported.

“We spent last year educating the public about the need for good tires, and they listened, with more than 70 percent saying they checked their tires before traveling in the I-70 corridor,” Ford said. “Drivers should expect every time they see a chain law required for truckers that the traction law will be required for passenger vehicles.”

The traction law requires motorists to have either snow tires, tires with mud/snow designation or a four-wheel drive vehicle. The chain law requires vehicles to have chains when it is in effect. Vehicles found without the proper equipment face a fine of more than $130 — or more than $650 if they block the road.

To help avoid the typical winter traffic jams on I-70, a 13-mile toll lane that runs between Empire and Idaho Springs will operating during peak travel times. Ford said the lanes should save motorists about 30 minutes of traffic time, although it could be costly. Drivers without an electronic toll pass could pay up to $40 to drive in the lane.

“It should be a major help as we enter the winter driving season,” Ford said.

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